the day to day of a professional actor in the San Francisco Bay Area

mostly the day to day of a professional actor in the San Francisco Bay Area, but also the home of the Counting Actors Project

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Monologue searching - beyond the monologue books

I'm never not searching for monologues, but this is at the forefront for me right now, because my current monologues have been in heavy rotation for about a year, and I need to rotate in some new pieces.

In particular, I need some new classic pieces (my definitition of 'classic' is a play from approx 1950 or before with a non-contemporary approach to language).  How I found my current classic piece was not by picking up a monologue book, but by thinking about classical archetypes, and what ones I'm best suited to play, given my type.  I ultimately decided that I wanted to find an archetypal loyal wife - and I settled on Andromache (wife of Hector, prince of Troy in the Trojan War).  By searching online, I found plays that feature Andromache - by Euripedes, Racine, Shakespeare and more!

I grabbed one version of each of the interesting plays from the library, and decided that the ideas in Andromache's speech in Euripedes' Trojan Women were the ones I could get behind.  Then, I needed to find a translation/adaptation of the play with language that was exciting - depending on the age of the translation and the nationality of the translator (Brit vs. American), I found versions of the speech that were too stuffy, too flowery, too intellectual, and ultimately found Karen Hartman's Troy Women, which felt bold and exciting and fun to read out loud.

I pulled the most personally provoking 55 seconds out of the approximately 3 minute speech, and my classic monologue was ready for rehearsal.

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